The Fire Reserves kicked off their season with a 2-1 win over the New York Red Bulls. Two goals from rookie Giuseppe Gentile helped the team start out the reserve league with a win.
#NYRB starting XI: Meara; Duvall, Miazga, Lozano, Oyongo; Lade, Bustamante, Bover; Obekop, Stevenson, Akpan.— ChiFireMatch (@ChiFireMatch) March 24, 2014
#cf97 starting XI for today's reserve match Reynish; Franco, Ianni, Lillard*, Bushue^, Pause, Ritter, Pinede, Gentile, Fernandez*; Anangono.— ChiFireMatch (@ChiFireMatch) March 24, 2014
Grant Lillard and Collin Fernandez both started and are from the academy. Lillard was recently called up to the U.S. U-20's and Fernandez was called up to U-18's. Jacob Bushue is a recent graduate of Indiana University who went undrafted in the MLS draft started as a guest player.
New York took an early lead in 21st minute when Andre Akpan slotted in a cross from six yards out. Gentile leveled the scored in the 24th when Marco Franco played the ball to Victor Pineda who then found Gentile at the back post to even the score.
24' - #cf97 pull even. Victor Pineda played it up the field for Gentile, who redirects it in for the 1-1 equalizer.— ChiFireMatch (@ChiFireMatch) March 24, 2014
In the 61st minute, Gentile scored his second after Anangono found him unmarked at the back post to put the Fire up 2-1 which is how the game ended. The next game for the reserves will be against Indy Eleven April 1st at Purdue University.
Mauricio Pineda (Victor's brother) and Qudus Lawal, both who are from the academy, made substitute appearances in the second half, meaning the Fire had both Pineda brothers on the field at the same time - always fun. Chris Ritter also started and played the whole game. The elder Pineda has also been busy, going the full 90 after making his first team debut this weekend.
Giuseppe Gentile impressed in the preseason and continues to find the back of the net. He might just force his way into the first team this year. I would expect the reserve games to continue to be used as playing time for some of the academy kids. Hopefully they will impress the coaches and join the first team eventually.
Happy to see the academy kids play? Thoughts on the lineup? Excited to see Gentile score?